Wigan display fighting qualities in win at Huddersfield Giants
Last Updated: 07/06/15 9:23pm
Wigan were forced to come from behind on three occasions as they secured a 32-18 success at Huddersfield Giants.
Liam Farrell and Josh Charnley scored two tries apiece as the Warriors finished the game strongly to make it seven wins from their last eight matches and ensure they go into Friday's Grand-Final rematch with St Helens on a high.
Huddersfield were the better team for most of the first half and look to have discovered a new hero in teenager Jared Simpson, who produced a man-of-the-match performance on his debut.
The 19-year-old full-back, who is the son of former Bradford utility back Roger Simpson, slipped an attempted tackle by Joel Tomkins on four minutes to open the scoring and then brought the crowd to its feet with a thrilling 60-metre break to turn defence into attack.
Simpson was targeted by the boot of Matty Smith but he was secure under the high ball and was a constant attacking threat with his electric pace and neat footwork.
Wigan were slow starters but as they came more into the game, skipper Sean O'Loughlin, playing his 350th game for his club, was turned on his back over the line before Farrell got Joe Burgess over for his 11th try in his last seven matches.
Smith's goal tied the scores but the Giants went back in front on 28 minutes when Joe Wardle took Danny Brough's short pass to crash over for their second try.
The ever-dangerous Brough then got Wardle through another gap in the visitors' defence but the clear-cut chance went begging when his final pass went awry.
Wigan, who had full-back Matty Bowen placed on report for allegedly using his knees in the tackle, were distinctly second-best up to that point but they somehow hauled themselves in front.
They drew level for a second time two minutes before the break when quick hands released Burgess down the wing and his inside pass enabled Farrell to touch down.
And some slick handling by John Bateman and Tomkins created the space for winger Charnley to score the Warriors' third try four minutes into the second half.
The visitors were pressing for another score when Brough intercepted Bateman's offload and went 80 metres for a glorious try before kicking his third goal.
The lead then changed hands for the third time in 10 minutes when Huddersfield right winger Jermaine McGillvary fumbled Smith's high kick to gift Farrell his second try.
Wigan increased their lead on 58 minutes when Charnley scored his second try. McGillvary tracked back to halt stand-off George Williams in full flight for the line but the Giants defence could not re-group in time to prevent the England winger going over at the corner.
Smith failed with his third conversion attempt but succeeded with a penalty on 63 minutes to put his side two scores in front.
Wigan then maintained the momentum by forcing three goal-line drop-outs and the pressure paid off when Tomkins and Charnley kept the charge alive on the last tackle for Bateman to skip through for a 73rd-minute try.